During the conflict the pattern of state murder was to ensure that the State’s story was the first story and therefore the story that would be remembered. Getting their story in first was the policy of the day. Disinformation, excuse and cover up accompanied state killings as a matter of course. Young girls shot dead with plastic bullets while standing waiting to cross a road were “rioting”. Boys painting their garden walls were seen with “weapons in their hands”. Executions of unarmed individuals were covered by stories of weapons and explosives being found at the scene. The majority of official records sustained the initial state story and cover up.
Families who knew the truth fought tooth and nail – while at the same time suffering their painful grief – to have the truth heard and recorded. For so many families having these lies overturned and new official records written is a long and exceptionally frustrating process. It is a vital part of the debate on dealing with the past. It is a vital part of healing.
Yesterday’s choreography by the NIO and Secretary of State was an example of the new modern version of getting your story in first. By sending out the message that the Public Inquiry found “No Collusion” and seeming to apologize for lesser issues the NIO and Secretary of State – and the PSNI – sidestepped their responsibilities. And most of all they side stepped the whole issue of collusion.
Contributing to the conditions whereby a life is in danger and then not protecting that life when it is known and clear that that person is at grave risk are matters of Article 2 the Right to Life. The report clearly outlines the British state’s failure to uphold Mrs Rosemary Nelson’s Right to Life.
The full report on Rosemary Nelson’s death – the brutal murder of a mother and human rights defender must be considered properly, without being subject to spin, vaccuous statement of meaningless apology or sidestepping. Indeed yesterday’s choreography could be considered to have added insult to injury.